Thursday , February 11 2016
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The Death of Santini


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Pat Conroy 352 pages, Nan A. Talese publisher Sold by Random House “Time passing has a soothing, ameliorative effect, and memory softens as its tides flow out to sea. And to the amazement of all his children, Dad was turning into a man of decency and self-control.” I wanted to read The Death of Santini because it was touted as a journey to forgiveness between a father and son. Every major world religion values forgiveness, and it seemed an appropriate read for the Christmas edition, covering father-son relationships, family, love and forgiveness. Also, Conroy ... Read More »

Murder, mayhem and mystery! Oh my!

By Noelle H. Lowery Meet Martha Horror (aka Gina Sisbarro). She wants to take you on a tour through Marco Island’s history, but it is not the history of sunshine, sand and shells. Her’s is a “ghost tour” through the unsolved murders and mysteries of Marco’s last 150 years. “I love history,” says Sisbarro, decked out in her full Martha Horror costume. “Marco Island is loaded with history and mystery.” In addition to the new Marco Murder and Mayhem Ghost Tour, Sisbarro also works for Marco Office Supply and directs productions at The Marco Players Theater. She will host ... Read More »

The Rosie Project


By Graeme Simsion Simon & Schuster 305 pages Don Tillman is a 30-something professor of genetics at a Melbourne university who has decided it is time to get married. He has never had a second date in his life, and most of his first dates have ended prematurely.   Professor Tillman has Aspergers syndrome and lives his life with strict adherence to routine; rationality and time management. TV fans should think of Sheldon Lee Cooper (Big Bang Theory) or Martin Ellingham (Doc Martin on PBS) to grasp the depth of Don’s social ineptness. Owing to his cerebral approach to all life’s ... Read More »

Holiday Events at Mackle

Submitted Santa’s Workshop: Enter the world of the North Pole with Santa’s Workshop, Marco Island style. We’ll be decorating gingerbread houses, creating Christmas tree ornaments, and making holiday crafts for everyone to enjoy. You will also receive a goodie bag of fun treats and prizes to take home with you. Don’t miss this opportunity to get creative and enjoy the wonders of Santa’s Workshop! Date is Saturday, December 7th for grades K through 5th from 9am-12pm at Mackle Park. Cost is $20/child. Pre-registration is required. 239-642-0575. Teen Center Holiday Shopping Spree: Come shopping with Parks and Recreation to the Gulfcoast ... Read More »

Big Cypress Swamp Heritage Festival

By Bob DeGross Big Cypress National Preserve, Chief of Interpretation and Public Affairs Join us on December 7, 2013, from 10 AM to 4:00 PM at the Big Cypress Swamp Welcome Center as we celebrate the history and culture of South Florida for the third annual Swamp Heritage Festival. The welcome center is located at 33000 Tamiami Trail East, Ochopee, FL 34141, three miles east of State Road 29 on U. S. 41, the Tamiami Trail. This FREE family-friendly event shines a spotlight upon the history of this rugged, yet beautiful environment through a variety of storytellers, musicians, local experts, ... Read More »

What Happens In Vegas…


REEL REVIEWS By Monte Lazarus If you suspend your disbelief, sit back and relax and you just might enjoy “Last Vegas.” It’s virtually mindless frothy comedy with a predictable script, saved only by the acting of four old pros and a decent director. Yes, there are some reminders of the vicissitudes of aging that draw some guffaws from the geezers, but no deep message. The unlikely quartet of Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline) grew up as buddies in Brooklyn. Here’s where disbelief must be shed immediately. No such mixed group ... Read More »

Naples: Paradise Can Be Deadly


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust   By Diane Ketcham Tidelow Press 2013, 302 pages In Naples: Paradise Can Be Deadly we find that it can also be romantic, wicked, petty, fashionable and wryly humorous. This book is an absolute delight to read. Those of us who live locally will find a certain heightened satisfaction in the familiar locales, but knowing the Naples area is not at all necessary. Ms. Ketcham rivets the reader with multiple story threads interspersed with twists, as well as a loop or two, infusing humor in all the right places. The resolution is credible, leaving no loose ... Read More »

Brushes & Paint Outdoor Art Show

Watch art unfold before your very eyes. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted Some of you may already have heard about the new “Brushes & Paint” art show coming to Marco Island this season sponsored by Marco Island Foundation for the Arts. Well, the first official Brushes & Paint Outdoor Art Show arrives at the Historical Museum on 180 S. Heathwood Drive on Friday, November 22 from 10 AM to 4 PM. This new show is for those who love original paintings created by our local artists. Some of the artists include Carolyn Burger, Gerry Brynjulson, Inez Hudson, Pat Perotti, Karen Swanker, Joan Scherer, Barbara McCormack, Tara O’Neill and Laura Wright. The ... Read More »

Art at the Marco Library


Submitted The Marco Island Public Library and the Marco Island Center for the Arts work cooperatively to provide monthly art shows at the Marco Library branch on Heathwood Drive. Each artist will exhibit for two months. November and December 2013 will feature a collection of original oils by award winning artist Tara O’Neill. Her artwork is for sale with a percentage of the sale to benefit the Marco Island Center for the Arts. Much of O’Neill’s art is inspired by Goodland, the historic fishing village off the southeast tip of Marco. “Goodland is a jewel on this coast; a community ... Read More »

Combining the Arts


By Karen Swanker Combining theater and art, The Marco Players Theater Gallery will be featuring the watercolors of Marco Island artist Judith Chinski. Her work will be featured during the run of “Absalom,” the first play of the season. Judy’s artwork will be available for immediate purchase directly from the theater gallery. “I think of painting as a journey. As I travel to places real or imagined, I strive to record the beauty of the things I see around me. I am drawn to light and shadow, but more so I am visually stimulated by color. My subject matter is ... Read More »

Fun & Funky Teapots


Submitted Fun and Funky Teapots take center stage in the main galleries of the Marco Island Center for the Arts. The juried exhibit, which runs through the 21st of November, attracted a number of highly imaginative two-dimensional entries, in all media, as well as clay submissions that bring new meaning to the song “I’m a little teapot.” “Who would imagine that something so utilitarian could be so whimsical and so very special,” quips Rosemary Wick, President of the Center’s Board of Directors. The Center for the Arts, located at 1010 Winterberry, is open Monday through Friday from 9 to 4 ... Read More »



BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Alice McDermott Farrar, Straus, and Giroux 2013 288 pages If you have time to read only one novel during the upcoming end-of-the-year hectic holiday season, I urge you to consider Someone by Alice McDermott. She is back after a 7-year absence. For those of you who unfamiliar with Alice McDermott, she won the National Book Award for Charming Billy in 1998 and has been thrice nominated as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Five of her six previous novels have been nominated for national awards. I do not write this because I am bedazzled by ... Read More »

Piracy and Heroism


REEL REVIEWS By Monte Lazarus “Captain Phillips” starts quietly enough. Captain Rich Phillips (Tom Hanks) and his wife (Catherine Keener) leave their Vermont home one morning. The Captain is off to Oman where he will take charge of a freighter, the Maersk Alabama, destination Kenya. The ship carries various goods, including relief supplies for those suffering in Africa. Phillips is a by-the-book, firm New Englander, and he is aware of the threat of piracy as the ship must go past the Horn of Africa where Somali pirates abound. Two small powerboats chase the Alabama, but must turn back. One ... Read More »

Go ahead and Blame it on Beckett

The cast prepares for their moment in the spotlight SUBMITTED PHOTO

Submitted The Box Office is open and tickets are currently on sale for the Island Theater Company’s production of Blame It On Beckett sponsored by Centennial Bank. What really goes on behind the scenes in a major regional new England non-profit theater? Blame It On Beckett, is the clever, witty, comedy by John Morogiello, that gives a peek into all of the drama found backstage. A wonderful comedy with heart and a message, Blame It On Beckett asks the question: how far are we willing to sacrifice our soul to get ahead? And once we do it, was it worth ... Read More »

Promise Me: How a Sister’s Love Launched the Global Movement to End Breast Cancer


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust By Nancy G. Brinker with Joni Rodgers Crown Archetype, 343 pages The first National Breast Cancer Awareness Month was observed in October 1986, and now it is a global event. Promise Me is the story of Susan Goodman, her younger sister Nancy, and how their sisterly devotion brought that about. Three-year-old Susan welcomed home baby sister Nancy Goodman in 1946 with an intense looking-over and accepted her with, “Well, she’s quite a character,” announcement to their parents. The sisters lived in Peoria, Illinois, an area I know very well as I was born (a little after ... Read More »

Go Gatsby for Cancer Awareness


Submitted Slip back to the time when flapper skirts and suits were popular at the first annual GirlTalkTV Roaring Gatsby Affair on Thursday, November 7. The ball will benefit the American Cancer Society Collier County Chapter to aide men and women battling cancer. “It is a fabulous way to look your best and help others recover and feel their best,” said Sherry Bryant, owner of GirlTalkTV. The GirlTalkTV Roaring Gatsby Affair will feature entertainment, drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction valued at more than $4,000. Donated getaway package, travel, fashion and beauty will be available in the raffle and ... Read More »



REEL REVIEWS By Monte Lazarus The setting is Europe. The critical year is 1976, although it’s mingled with a number of flashbacks. The movie centers about the rivalry of two Formula One race car drivers, one handsome, dashing and British; the other Austrian, not so handsome, not so dashing – indeed dour, arrogant – and Austrian. This fascinating thriller is more about the two opposite personalities, and their approaches to life, than it is simply about racing incredibly fast cars around the European Circuit. Interestingly, both main characters, James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) were from ... Read More »



REEL REVIEWS By Monte Lazarus Eva (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) is a divorced masseuse with a daughter, Ellen, about to enter college (impeccably played by Tracey Fairaway). Albert (the late, great James Gandolfini) is a divorced father of a girl also bound for college. Thus begins “Enough Said,” a charming little comedy that gets into the foibles of middle class, middle aged life in California. Eva has a self-deprecating sense of humor that sustains her through her loneliness. She lives for her job, daughter and a few very good friends. She meets Albert at a party, and they share a few ... Read More »

Run, Brother, Run: A Memoir of a Murder in My Family


BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust   By David Berg Scribner 2013, 254 pages I am very fond of the genre Real Crime, but I believe “Run, Brother, Run” is the first of such that I have addressed in Book Remarks. For the past month or so I have been working on reading the nominees for the Man Booker Prize, due to be announced on October 15. (I predict “Harvest” by Jim Crace takes the prize.) However, after I read that “Guardian US” readers had picked “Run, Brother, Run” as their favorite Summer 2013 read, my interest was piqued and I had ... Read More »



REEL REVIEWS By Monte Lazarus As the first scene begins a father is repeating a prayer as his son prepares to shoot a deer for their Thanksgiving dinner.  This is the fitting prelude for almost three hours of tension and superb performances in a far-from-ordinary “crime thriller. The setting is a wintry, somber, dank Western Pennsylvania town.  It appears to be a normal suburb, but the Thanksgiving dinner celebration of two families goes awry when the daughters of both families disappear.  The story becomes a study of rage by one father (Keller Dover, brilliantly played by Hugh Jackman) while ... Read More »